Online Registration
  • Registration for this event is now closed.
Mt. Vernon-Lisbon
Mt Vernon Creates
121 1st St W
Mt Vernon, IA  52314
United States of America
Rotary Youth Exchange: Informational Meeting 
November 10th - Mount Vernon Creates 6 - 8:30 pm
Any one interested in learning more about Rotary youth exchange is invited to attend the free informational meeting on November 10th. Please join us as exchange students, parents of exchange students, host families, and educators tell their stories about their experiences with Rotary youth exchange. 
Rotary Youth Exchange - Life-changing
That phrase is often repeated when students describe the experience of being a foreign exchange student. Actually living for nearly a year in a foreign culture opens their eyes to the world in ways that school textbooks or online video can never do.
Theresa Gruber-Miller would know. A 2017 Mount Vernon High School graduate, she spent the 2017-18 school year as a Rotary International foreign exchange student in Argentina. When she returned home last summer, she said, “It was an amazing experience. I met people from all over the world. It makes you realize what a variety of cultures there are.” 
Gruber-Miller became fluent in Spanish while on the exchange, which she is now putting to good use as a Spanish language major at college.
To highlight the value of the foreign exchange experience, the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Rotary Club is bringing together a variety of advocates and former participants at an informational meeting. Students who are interested in participating in a future international exchange experience are especially invited to attend along with their families. The informal event will be held on Saturday, November 10, 2018, from 6:00-8:30 at Mount Vernon Creates, 121 1st Avenue NW in Mount Vernon. 
Several speakers will tell of the exchange student experience, including current and former exchange students, school counselors, exchange student host families, and Rotary members from Mount Vernon-Lisbon and elsewhere. 
Rotary has a long history of supporting student exchanges as the best way to foster international understanding and peace. Every year, over 8,000 students world-wide do a Rotary exchange somewhere. Most years, 16-20 of those students are from this eastern Iowa Rotary district, with one or two typically from our local communities. Zach Perry, a 2018 Mount Vernon High School graduate, is doing a Rotary exchange in Brazil now and attending school there.
On the inbound side of the Rotary exchange program, this district is currently hosting 22 foreign students across Iowa, including Pauline Leblanc from Belgium. She is staying with a host family in Mount Vernon, where she attends high school. 
Rotary exchange students usually go at or near the end of their high school years. They attend school in the foreign country, and learn first-hand about all aspects of culture in another country. Immersion into the foreign educational system enhances academic and personal growth. Host families, clubs, and the entire community are enriched. 
Any student of high school age who is considering an exchange program should attend the free informational meeting on November 10. There will be finger foods and beverages and a cash bar. Students will be told how they can apply to be exchange students, and about the costs of the exchange program. (Most of the costs are paid by local Rotary clubs.) 
People who would like to help sponsor exchange programs also should attend. Local art has been donated and will be auctioned to support the youth exchange program.